Understanding Worker’s Compensation and Regulatory Responsibility

Date: July 16, 2014

New reports from this past March indicate that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA has put together a pretty long laundry list of problems with Indiana’s state agency that handles workplace safety. The heart of the federal report involves issues on whistle blowing and how the state’s agency treats reported and documented cases of worker safety problems, including items like risk of electric shock and chemical exposure. Delays, stalling and other problems seemed to plague the state’s agency, which can lead to serious consequences in Indiana workplaces.

Understanding the many aspects of worker’s compensation scenarios involves looking at how federal and state regulators approach this kind of personal injury law.

Worker’s Compensation and Personal Injury – Regulator Fines and Lawsuits

Typically, the federal regional safety reports show OSHA fining companies many thousands of dollars for different kinds of workplace violations including:

  • Uneven walkways or pathways
  • Hazards related to power tools
  • Chemical exposure hazards
  • Lack of protective equipment
  • Lack of safety precautions for those working above the ground level

All of these violations are stringently monitored by federal workplace safety groups; but in many cases, the fines are relatively small amounts of money compared to what companies pay out in successful worker’s compensation litigation. Personal injury lawyers work on behalf of individual plaintiffs who are injured because of negligence or inattention to public safety in the workplace.

Part of the job of professional personal injury lawyers who deal with worker’s compensation cases is to step in when regulators are not doing their job. In the above case, some of those who reported actual workplace hazards were wrongly suppressed or not fully listened to by safety agencies. Hiring worker’s compensation injury lawyers provides a different avenue for justice in cases where lack of worker safety leads to accidents and injuries.

Qualified personal injury lawyers also look at other kinds of third-party responsibility along with the responsibilities of employers through worker’s compensation insurance policies. This comprehensive legal review is part of what helps the families of injured workers to get money that they need for the cost of care and recovery, lost wages, pain and suffering and much more.

Patrick Dougherty
Lecturer for the PA Trial Lawyers Association and the PA Bar Institute. Board Certified In Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy